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StrongMail Unveils Triggered Email Feature

6/14/11

By Ken Magill

Email software and services provider StrongMail today announced it has developed a drag-and-drop “Lifecycle Marketing” feature that allows marketers to create a series of triggered email programs with little IT involvement.

“StrongMail has made lifecycle-marketing capabilities for years, but this new interface is going to make it available to significantly more companies and enable companies that don’t have extensive IT resources to leverage this powerful technique,” said Kristin Hersant, vice president of corporate marketing for StrongMail.

The announcement comes at a time when it is becoming increasingly apparent that marketers have failed to embrace email segmentation and personalization, and have instead chosen to crank up the volume.

According to a recent study by Epsilon, the volume of emails its clients sent rose almost 40 percent in 2010.

Database marketing expert Arthur Middleton Hughes had a piece published on MediaPost recently in which he explained that email marketers are cranking up the volume rather than personalizing because segmentation takes too much time and effort while increasing frequency takes little effort and works.

“With emails going out several times a week, we just do not have the creative talent or time to write four or five versions of each email,” he wrote.

“The situation today is this: We can increase response either by personalizing, or by increasing frequency. The lift we get from personalization is not as great as the lift we get from frequency. We can't do both, so we go with the one that is most profitable.”

Enter triggered emails. They take some upfront time to plan and create, but then they for the most part run themselves.

Moreover they work. As reported here last week, library supplies merchant DEMCO’s abandoned-shopping-cart emails drive 97 times the revenue of its broadcast emails and convert at an average 20 percent.

Also, marketers appear to be embracing triggered email programs. According to an admittedly self-serving study StrongMail released today, 46 percent of 1,070 marketers surveyed said they have implemented some sort of triggered email program or programs, and of those who haven’t, 58 percent said they plan to do so in the next two years.

According to Hersant, StrongMail’s new service has preloaded a series of templates from which marketers can choose to build triggered email programs.

“They can literally choose from a pull-down menu and say, ‘I want to build a welcome program’ and it will load up all the different steps and they can edit it however they see fit,” she said.

The templates include welcome, post-purchase, win-back, cart-abandonment and event-countdown programs.

StrongMail is not the first company to make available drag-and-drop triggered-email capabilities.

Silverpop and Responsys offer them, as well, Hersant said.

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